Shahar Goldboim Of Boom Is Disrupting Our Industry, and What We Can Do About It

An Interview With Cynthia Corsetti

Employers should invest in reskilling and upskilling wherever it is needed. This is why it is so important to keep up to date with how AI is evolving. By proactively identifying the skills that will be in demand, you can equip your employees with the training and resources they need to thrive in an AI-enhanced future.

Artificial Intelligence is no longer the future; it is the present. It’s reshaping landscapes, altering industries, and transforming the way we live and work. With its rapid advancement, AI is causing disruption — for better or worse — in every field imaginable. While it promises efficiency and growth, it also brings challenges and uncertainties that professionals and businesses must navigate. What can one do to pivot if AI is disrupting their industry? As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Shahar Goldboim.

Shahar Goldboim is the Founder and CEO of Boom, an AI-driven property enabler and cutting-edge holistic property management system designed to set precise, optimized prices, leading to increased profitability. Shahar and his team are redefining the industry with their ‘Plug & Manage’ approach, delivering impressive boosts in revenue, conversion rates, and review ratings, all within an efficient 3-week onboarding process.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive into our discussion our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

Ihave always been involved with real estate in one way or another. But it wasn’t until 2016 — back when I was juggling my job as a broker while running a start-up — that a friend suggested I try turning a property into an Airbnb. This is what sparked a pivotal shift in my career. I first trialed the property on a platform that assessed how interested potential guests would be in renting it out. The response blew me away — so much so that I decided to delve deeper into the vacation rental market. Drawing on my real estate expertise and my wife’s design skills, we set out to make our mark in this new industry. We subsequently launched DesignedVR, which today manages over $150 million in vacation rental properties. As we continued to experiment with tech, we quickly realized its enormous potential, hence we launched Boom.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Boom is an AI-driven tool that sits over the top of a property manager’s existing PMS platform — it isn’t a PMS. Instead, it acts like a virtual workforce that takes day-to-day decision-making away from the managers. It’s a bit like a co-pilot that eases the operational burden. This drives efficiency by helping managers to delegate tasks to a computer instead of a human colleague. We aim to ensure this blend of advanced technology and performance-focused metrics gives property managers a strategic advantage, making Boom an indispensable tool. What also makes Boom unique is its people — a unique synergy between me and my two brothers. Each of us brings a completely different skill set to the table: I bring an entrepreneurial understanding of real estate, Alon our CTO helps bridge the gap between technology and business, and Moran, an AI virtuoso, further strengthens our technological capabilities to new heights. Beyond the familial core, our company is bolstered by a team of long-time friends who have become partners and employees, contributing to a unique corporate culture that feels more like a family.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

I firmly believe that all successful business leaders require three key character traits to succeed: curiosity, compassion, and the ability to forge meaningful connections.

My own innate curiosity about emerging technologies is what led to the launch of Boom in the first place. As we delved deeper into its potential applications in the vacation rentals sector, we realized that we were onto something special and, subsequently, we decided to launch Boom as its own distinct entity — not just an arm of DesignedVR.

Good leaders must also be caring and compassionate. When I was approached by a team member advocating for a more flexible remote-working policy, I was all ears and we adapted our policies accordingly. This has led to a happier and more productive team all-round.

And thirdly, by taking a genuine interest in people, I’ve been able to cultivate deep and meaningful relationships with clients, partners, and my employees. An example of this took place at a tech conference where I was talking to someone I knew and really connected with the difficulties they were experiencing in their business. That discussion eventually turned into a productive, lasting partnership that continues to thrive today.

Let’s now move to the main point of our discussion about AI. Can you explain how AI is disrupting your industry? Is this disruption hurting or helping your bottom line?

AI will fundamentally reshape the STR industry, and its impact will be overwhelmingly positive for those who embrace it early. One of the key advantages of AI is its capacity to automate mundane and labor-intensive tasks. This shift has allowed our workforce to redirect their focus towards higher-value endeavors such as strategic planning, business development, and innovation. By integrating AI technologies into our own operational framework, we have achieved greater efficiency, resulting in substantial cost savings and increased productivity. This reallocation of resources not only enhances our operational effectiveness but also elevates employee satisfaction and engagement. This, in turn, has cultivated a more vibrant and innovative organizational culture. Ultimately, we are using AI to maintain a market-leading and competitive edge, while also setting the stage for wide-scale future innovation.

Which specific AI technology has had the most significant impact on your industry?

ChatGPT and similar models have been genuine game-changers for enhancing our SaaS solution, really setting us apart from the rest of the market. These advanced language processing tools have allowed us to automate and personalize customer interactions at an unprecedented scale. By combining our own knowledge with the capabilities of AI, we have dramatically improved operational efficiency, enriched the customer experience, and offered innovative solutions that meet the evolving needs of our clients. As these technologies continue to evolve, so too will the STR sector.

Can you share a pivotal moment when you recognized the profound impact AI would have on your sector.

The first ‘aha’ moment for me was when I realized the immense potential of AI in enhancing customer support and sales. The realization was not just about the technology itself, but about how it could fundamentally transform our approach to such essential business functions.

This was the first realization that opened the door to an even broader understanding — that we were on the verge of changing how the STR workforce operates entirely. It pointed to a future where AI could reshape not just how managers interact with their customers, but also how they structure their internal operations, manage their workforce, and deliver services.

How are you preparing your workforce for the integration of AI, and what skills do you believe will be most valuable in an AI-enhanced future?

We are committed to hands-on training with our AI products, fostering a culture where innovation and integration with AI are actively encouraged. The key skills we emphasize for thriving in an AI-enhanced future are adaptability, to swiftly navigate changing technologies; technical literacy, to understand and leverage AI tools effectively; and critical thinking, to solve complex problems creatively. Our focus is on empowering our team to not only develop cutting-edge AI solutions but also to continuously evolve with the technology.

What are the biggest challenges in upskilling your workforce for an AI-centric future?

The first hurdle to overcome is resistance to change. Getting employees to

integrating AI into their daily routines and adjusting to new roles or ways of working is no small feat. This means we have to address concerns about job security while highlighting how AI can bring value and open new opportunities within their roles. Next, we must ensure our team develops the right mix of skills to thrive alongside AI. This isn’t just about technical know-how; it’s also about soft skills like adaptability, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Finding the right balance between teaching AI-specific skills and nurturing these softer abilities is essential for futureproofing the workforce. Lastly is the importance of keeping up with the pace of change. AI technology is constantly evolving, which means our educational and training programs must evolve just as quickly to stay relevant.

What ethical considerations does AI introduce into your industry, and how are you tackling these concerns?

The efficiency and automation that AI introduces will completely transform the jobs landscape and, inevitably, make some roles obsolete. We’re managing this inevitable transition through several strategies. Firstly, we are being proactive about reskilling and training our workforce to get the most out of AI. We’re also investing in programs to prepare our employees for new roles and skills that will be in demand. This not only helps prevent job displacement but also equips our team for the future. We’re also focusing on enhancing human-centric services. With AI taking over routine tasks, our staff can dedicate more time to interacting with guests and providing personalized services — areas where the human touch cannot be digitized!

What are your “Five Things You Need To Do, If AI Is Disrupting Your Industry”?

My first key piece of advice is to ensure your staff are continuously learning about AI. It really goes without saying that your workforce needs to be constantly updating their skills and knowledge to stay relevant in an AI-driven landscape

Secondly, employers should invest in reskilling and upskilling wherever it is needed. This is why it is so important to keep up to date with how AI is evolving. By proactively identifying the skills that will be in demand, you can equip your employees with the training and resources they need to thrive in an AI-enhanced future.

Thirdly, you should make automation the ultimate goal when it comes to carrying out mundane or routine tasks. This will enable your team to focus on more complex, creative, and interpersonal aspects of their roles.

My fourth piece of advice is to adopt an ethical AI framework. By implementing guidelines for AI’s ethical use — addressing concerns around privacy, bias, and job displacement, you will retain trust and integrity among peers and your customers.

Lastly, fostering a workplace environment that encourages innovation and experimentation when it comes to AI is critical. This will not only encourage your employees to make the most out of AI in terms of fulfilling their own roles but also encourage knowledge sharing that benefits your whole business.

What are the most common misconceptions about AI within your industry, and how do you address them?

There’s a persistent belief that AI’s purpose is mainly for tasks like generating or sprucing up listing descriptions, which underestimates its far-reaching capabilities. To combat this, we have committed to educating our stakeholders on the huge variety of ways AI can be applied beyond simple text generation. These range from market analysis to price optimization, and enhancing customer service.

Another surprisingly widespread myth is the idea that humans are always better than AI at problem-solving tasks. This, clearly, is not the case. To challenge this, we combine business intelligence and visualization to showcase where AI is clearly outperforming humans, such as analyzing huge datasets.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” — Stephen R. Covey”.

This quote highlights how important it is to really listen instead of just waiting for your turn to talk. When we were developing our software, listening carefully to everyone, from the cleaning staff to our advisory board’s head, was key. Our success comes from paying close attention to what they say, their experiences, and their feedback, rather than just pushing our own ideas. This way of listening has allowed us to come up with innovations and solutions that go beyond what was expected. It proves that listening can lead to learning, growth, and achievements that simply talking can’t achieve.

Off-topic, but I’m curious. As someone steering the ship, what thoughts or concerns often keep you awake at night? How do those thoughts influence your daily decision-making process?

The responsibility of supporting my employees’ families through the success of my companies is definitely something that leaves me tossing and turning at night. It compels me to think in the long term — to look beyond short-term gains and focus on sustainable growth and stability for the company. It also prompts me to invest in my employees’ growth and development, whether that’s through training, upskilling, or supporting in any way I can.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.?

If I could start a movement with a big impact, I’d focus on two main goals: making sure everyone gets a good education and ensuring the rule of law is strong and fair.

Firstly, the movement would push for everyone to have access to quality education. We’d work to ensure that people everywhere, no matter their background, can learn and grow through education.

Secondly, we’d push for a fair and just legal system, something that I believe is essential for keeping society orderly and protecting people’s rights. Our goal would be to make sure that laws are applied equally to everyone, that justice is accessible, and that people trust the institutions meant to serve them.

How can our readers further follow you online?

For those interested in following my journey and insights online, LinkedIn would be the ideal platform. On LinkedIn, I regularly share updates about our projects, insights into the industry, and thoughts on the future of AI and its impact on society. Feel free to connect with me there to stay informed about our latest developments and to engage in meaningful discussions about innovation, technology, and creating positive change in the world.

Thank you for the time you spent sharing these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

About the Interviewer: Cynthia Corsetti is an esteemed executive coach with over two decades in corporate leadership and 11 years in executive coaching. Author of the upcoming book, “Dark Drivers,” she guides high-performing professionals and Fortune 500 firms to recognize and manage underlying influences affecting their leadership. Beyond individual coaching, Cynthia offers a 6-month executive transition program and partners with organizations to nurture the next wave of leadership excellence.